The Independence Print Exhibition at the BIDTI

The Independence Print Exhibition was held at the BIDTI on the 19th of May 2023. The exhibition was based on a selection of newspapers from the L. S. W. Pathirathne Collection curated by Dr. George I. H. Cooke, Initiator of Awarelogue Initiative.


The Director General of the BIDTI, Ambassador Pamela J. Deen, speaking at the event, stated that the BIDTI was pleased to host the exhibition for two reasons. She said that as an academic institute, it is the responsibility of the BIDTI to create awareness on new knowledge that comes into light. And also, the special relationship the BIDTI has with Dr. Cooke, who is a prominent alumnus and a notable resource person.

Dr. Cooke spoke of why it was important to explore events such as those found in the collection, especially at a time after 75 years, Sri Lanka gained its Independence. He said that it was a despair that the true spirit of independence has been overshadowed by the promotion of sensitive and controversial topics rather than knowledge and truth.

Dr. Cooke also showed great appreciation towards Mr. Pathirathne and his family who gifted him the collection. He mentioned that Mr. Pathirathne’s great thirst for knowledge and more importantly his desire for its preservation paved the way for the exhibition.

The newspapers which were presented shed light on different aspects of independence including how the first Independence was celebrated, what other global events took place at the time and reaction of prominent characters during Sri Lanka’s Independence.

The awe-inspiring collection was studied and admired by all visitors who left with a sense of appreciation for the event.